2023 Outstanding New Principal, Finalists, and School Recipients

The Outstanding New Principals Recognized For 2023

The Outstanding New Principal Award recognizes distinguished educators and extraordinary leaders who are within their first three years as principal. The recipient is an innovative and exceptional manager whose vision inspires and guides staff, students, and the community to help lead the school to excellence. Any FCPS employee or community member may nominate a principal for the Outstanding New Principal Award.

2023 Outstanding New Principal

kj an portratKJ An

Eagle View Elementary School, Region 5

KJ is committed to building a caring and supportive culture. Starting the school year with the theme of LOVE (Laughter, Openness, Validation, Encouragement), she models these values through her daily interactions with students, staff, and families. She makes genuine connections and leads by example to ensure all stakeholders have a strong sense of belonging at Eagle View. She creates an environment where people feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things. This year, she brought the school community together through clear and consistent communication and various school events such as quarterly P2 (Positivity Project) celebrations, Eagle View's first Veterans Day celebration, Music and Arts Gallery Night, and other events hosted in collaboration with the PTA and other pyramid schools.

2023 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

ted cooper portraitTed Cooper

Fairhill Elementary School, Region 2

Ted has transformed Fairhill Elementary School by bringing a sense of collaboration within the school walls and into the greater community. You can hear Ted reminding teachers, students, and the community how lucky they are to have each other. Since joining the school, the leadership team has remained team-oriented and laser-focused on three core values: relationships, rigorous academics, and community involvement. From expanding Responsive Classroom and dramatically increasing data-driven instruction to increasing engagement with the community in new and creative ways, the vision is clear. Fairhill Elementary developed new data tracking tools that helped increase student achievement across all metrics. Also, the school partnered with community organizations to improve grounds and preserve the planet.

2023 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

samantha goldstein portraitSamantha Goldstein

Fairview Elementary School, Region 4

Samantha stepped foot into Fairview on July 1, 2022, and from that very first moment, it has been abundantly clear that fostering strong and caring relationships and creating and maintaining a welcoming school culture are at the forefront of her work. She has a fierce commitment to children, parents, and staff. Samantha leads by example, says what she means, and means what she says. She isn't afraid to have difficult conversations while offering support and guidance. She helps people recognize their strengths and allows for reflection and personal growth. In addition, she maintains an open-door policy where staff, students, and parents feel heard, affirmed, and valued. Samantha has high expectations and helps everyone who has the opportunity of working with her.

2023 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

rashida greenRashida J. Green

Bucknell Elementary School, Region 3

Author Brene Brown says, "When we have the courage to walk into our story and own it, we get to write the ending." This defines Rashida's journey on the Route 1 corridor from being a student to becoming the principal of Bucknell Elementary School. Rashida is an extremely passionate leader who empowers educators and students to pursue their dreams. She shares a vision with her staff to ensure that students in the Title 1 setting have access to meaningful opportunities that support their progress academically, socially, and emotionally. She values relationships and connections, which is evident every day as she makes strategic and purposeful decisions. Rashida's positive demeanor and contagious enthusiasm create an environment where all staff, students, and families feel safe, welcomed, valued, and affirmed.

2023 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

Monika Guerrero Vereb portraitMonika Guerrero Vereb

Herndon Middle School, Region 1

Monika began her leadership journey with FCPS at Herndon Middle School, marking her return to the community that fostered her love of learning as a child. In her first 90 days, Monika prioritized stakeholder meetings and home visits to establish trust by listening and actively engaging in two-way conversations to better understand the community's needs. As a result, staff members have shared positive feelings of acknowledgment and created opportunities to contribute to decision-making processes. This investment in strengthening relationships builds a shared culture for learning and amplifies the rich history and tradition of the Herndon pyramid. Building upon this foundation, she looks forward to continuing the important work to boost rigor and increase access to meaningful learning experiences.

Outstanding New Principal Finalists Slideshow

2023 Outstanding New Principal Nominees

  • Bailey's Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences
    • Satonya Dews
  • Bonnie Brae Elementary School
    • Morgan Birge
  • Bucknell Elementary School
    • Rashida Green
  • Clearview Elementary School
    • Stephanie Almquist
  • Dranesville Elementary School
    • Jamie Gadley
  • Eagle View Elementary School
    • KJ An
  • Fairhill Elementary School
    • Ted Cooper
  • Fairview Elementary School
    • Samantha Goldstein
  • Flint Hill Elementary School
    • Eben Montequila
  • Floris Elementary School
    • Holly Walker
  • Forestdale Elementary School
    • Jennifer Cunneen
  • Greenbriar West Elementary School
    • Andrew Blount
  • Haycock Elementary School
    • Elizabeth Beaty
  • Herndon Middle School
    • Monika Vereb
  • Hunt Valley Elementary School
    • Keieownna Hightower
  • Island Creek Elementary School
    • Jen Fallert
  • Laurel Ridge Elementary School
    • Megan Counts
  • Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School
    • Gina O'Neal
  • Sangster Elementary School
    • Allison Jankovich
  • Saratoga Elementary School
    • Erica Loesch

Employees, Applicants, and Retirees

Submit questions or concerns, as well as upload forms and other documents through the FCPS StaffConnect portal. Human Resources representatives are also available for assistance Monday – Friday (8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) by calling 571-423-3000 or 1-800-831-4331.